In the Loop is our monthly experimental – not really a – newsletter which features highlights from our Twitter feed and updates on what we've been up to at Tactical Tech.

APRIL 2012




  • Visualising Land Grabbing

Tactical Studios (with Tactical Tech's reveal programme) worked with the

Land Coalition partnership (CDE, CIRAD, GIGA, GIZ and ILC) to create a

public interface providing unprecedented access to the largest public

database of large-scale land deals worldwide.
















  • Me and My Shadow

Explore your digital traces and how to minimise them with a new website

and resource from our Privacy and Expression programme.



  • 10 Tactics Remixed

What's happening in information activism? Read stories, discussion and

analysis about how groups and individuals are (re)claiming citizenship

from the ground up in a new website from our Evidence and Action




  • A new Data and Design How to: Opening Open Data

We've updated the Drawing by Numbers site with a new how to!

Opening open data is a practical DIY on making open data useful and

accessing data when it's inaccessible. Read it here and follow Drawing by Numbers on Twitter @drawbynumbers.



  • Re:publica

We ran two sessions at the Re-publica event in Berlin:

Your information? Whose is it? Digital technologies are spreading tentacles deeper into our private lives with each ‘cool’ device, application, or interaction. Our awareness about our information’s whereabouts provides us a better understanding of the perils and potentials of digital technologies, to spice up our mundane everyday use, or allow us monumental positive social change.

"The four arts of visual persualsion" explores contemporary forms of

political visual expression, evidence and debate.


  • AWID

We were delighted to be invited to facilitate a workshop at the

Association for Women in Development Forum. 50 women joined us for a session on Visualising Information for Advocacy where we explored the use of data visualisation, information design, mapping and film as techniques for

communicating information and evidence in campaigns. The Privacy and

Expression team, partnered with the Association for Progressive

Communications (APC) Women's Programme on a series of security clinics

for participants to get tips, install tools and learn best practices on

digital security and privacy.



IS THE INTERNET AWAKE? This simple visualisation – a view of day and night based on the number of broadband internet users – is strangely hypnotic!











Image by Edlundart, 2012

DRIVEN BY DATA? We love the visualisation work of Gregor Aisch - combining "interactive information visualization, cartography and journalism" Check it out here.


YOU PUT YOUR DATA IN THERE… NOW ITS TIME TO RECLAIM IT! How to download data from Google and Facebook. A journalists' account of what happened when he did exactly that - reminds him "that huge swaths of my information on these networks are outside my control" 


COLLECT AND SELL YOUR PERSONAL DATA? Data Dealer is a satirical online game on collecting and selling personal data (in German). Find out who is really buying and selling your data.


Image by Data Dealer, 2012


DATA JOURNALISM HANDBOOK This book is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who thinks that they might be interested in becoming a data journalist, or dabbling in data journalism. "What makes data journalism different to the rest of journalism? Perhaps it is the new possibilities that open up when you combine the traditional ‘nose for news’ and ability to tell a compelling story, with the sheer scale and range of digital information now available." 


Image by the Data Journalism Handbook, 2012


SAFE STREETS WITH A BIT OF HELP FROM TACTICAL TECH! We reconnected recently Ghaidaa Al'Absi, a participant in our Visualising Women's Rights programme. She received a microgrant from us to develop her campaign Safe Streets, which maps sexual harassment in Yemen. Here is an interview with her about her campaign.


SAVE YOUR VOICE ON INDIA'S INTERNET Activists locked themselves in cages in protest at the Indian government's Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules. Find out more about the movement against interner censorship in India here


Image by Save Your Voice, 2012


ACTIVIST SERVERS SEIZED on 18th April the US authorities seized a server belonging to the Riseup network which provides online communication tools for people and groups working on liberatory social change. 


CLEAN OUR CLOUD Greenpeace launched a new campaign this month calling on Apple to stop using "asthma-inducing, climate destroying coal to power the "cloud" that stores your emails, photos, music and videos." 


SUSPECT YOUR NEIGHBOURS? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT! Ahead of this Summer's 2012 Olympics, the UK Police have been upping the stakes in surveillance and pre-emptive policing. A new phone app, Facewatch encourages people to identify anonymous criminals from their neighbourhood. A move compared by Evgeny Morozov to the way that Iranian police posted pictures on the internet of unidentified troublemakers after the 2009 elections. For another view on the Olympics visit and vote for the company that is "is covering up the most environmental destruction and devastating the most communities while pretending to be a good corporate citizen by sponsoring the Olympic games?" at Greenwash Gold.


Image by Greenwash Gold, 2012


MAP THE BEST RESOURCES FOR DIGITAL ADVOCACY Take a moment to help the Engine Room map the best resources for integrating digital media into advocacy work. 




TAKE A BREAK - TO READ PRIVACY POLICIES? When was the last time you bothered to read a privacy policy? It turns out that if you actually bothered to read all of the privacy policies you encounter on a daily basis it would take you about 30 working days! This article points out that this is only privacy policies – not even the terms of service or end user license agreements. Find out more about these impenetrable agreements in our 'Me and My Shadow' site coming in May. 


WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: A REVOLUTION OF THOUGHT? Mona Eltahaway wrote a piece on the status of women in the Middle East "Our political revolutions will not succeed unless they are accompanied by revolutions of thought -- social, sexual, and cultural revolutions that topple the Mubaraks in our minds as well as our bedrooms."  But as the Guardian in the UK reported, the article deeply divided opinion amongst women. 


MONITORING ELECTIONS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IN SENEGAL During the recent elections in Senegal a website aggregated Tweets, Facebook comments, video and blogs to provide realtime feedback. The site was created by Cheik Fall @cypher007 who was interviewed (in French) by the Information Sciences & Techniques Study Centre, attached to the University of Dakar. Read more about it here. (Thanks to @hapeeg for the links) And thanks to @ethanz for this overview of African Social networks.



OCCUPY NEWS If you're curious as to what the Occupy movement has achieved - check out What the F+++ has Occupy done so far. Noam Chomsky takes a look at the movement to see where it might go next. A wonderful selection of readings inspired by the Occupy movement's people's libraries Part I, II, III, IV.


WEAVING A PEACEFUL REVOLUTION Did you know that Mahatma Ghandi was part of a team that invented a Gandhi and his designers developed hand-powered device which enabled Indians to make their own cloth. Read more about this intriguing story.